Read introduction

Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944) was a Hungarian poet who died in The Holocaust. He was killed on a death march, and buried in a mass grave. 18 months later his body was exhumed, and a notebook discovered. Despite the marks left by the decomposition of his body, his four last poems - which he entitled "Postcards" - were decypherable.

This extracted from Wikipedia:

"Postcard 4" was written days before his own death and describes seeing "his friend, the violinist Miklós Lorsi" executed.

What follows is the poem in its translated version:

Postcard 4

I fell next to him.His body rolled over.
It was tight as a string before it snaps.
Shot in the back of the head- "This is how
you'll end." "Just lie quietly," I said to myself.
Patience flowers into death now.
"Der springt noch auf," I heard above me.
Dark filthy blood was drying on my ear.

Postcard from Budapest

Training_in_baghdadby Patrick Howse31 Oct 2017

The card he gave me
Was torn from a death
Stained notebook.

The language gives me
No reference points
(But the blood-clogged

Ear of a poet),
So I align myself
With the river;

We rattle up and down
While a genial man
Tells us Europe's too full.

For Miklos Radnoti

Media

Video